Dramatic accents

Key accessories to enhance
your personal style
Standing sentinel
Juan-Carlos Torres builds on
Vacheron Constantin’s legacy
French brew
Kronenbourg 1664 holds its own
in taste and pleasure
THE WEEK OF JANUARY 10, 2011
Sulian Tan-Wijaya, senior director for retail and lifestyle
at Savills, on juggling life’s challenges
L I F E • S T Y L E • L E I S U R E
Keeping it
TOGETHER
OP2 • THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011
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EDITOR
Ben Paul
SECTION EDITOR
Audrey Simon
CONTRIBUTORS
Aaron De Silva, Alicia Webb,
Anandhi Gopinath, Farah Khan,
Tony Watts, Yong Yen Nie
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Elaine Lim, Evelyn Tung,
James Chong, Chew Ru Ju,
Ezanor Kasah
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Samuel Isaac Chua
PHOTOJOURNALIST
Gwyneth Yeo
EDITORIAL COORDINATOR
Rahayu Mohamad
DESIGN DESK
Nik Edra, Mohd Yusry, Boh Jun Kit,
Tan Siew Ching, Christine Ong,
Monica Lim, Eunice Han
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Tasselled suede moccasins are
strictly for the weekend, unless
you’re lucky enough to be able
to set your workwear rules.
Massimo Dutti has a pair to
die for.
Yves Saint Laurent gets
a bit showy, with style
nevertheless, with a matte
gold Y buckle on this sleek
belt
If you travel often, a pair of
leather gloves is a must-have.
Versace has a pair in a muted
shade of dark brown that is
simply gorgeous.
Messenger bags never go out of style,
no matter what the season. Salvatore
Ferragamo’s logo is embossed on this
Sangria red one, which straddles the sartorial
line between trendy and timeless.
If you’re new to the leather bandwagon, take
baby steps. Start with a simple and elegant leather
wallet such as the Esta. The subtle Louis Vuitton
logo in the corner is a stamp of class and
sophistication.
For the sportier,
more jocular
personalities,
Tod’s woven
leather bracelets
are playful and
fun — and
hardy too
Leather accessories are the fashion investment to make
— not only will they last, but they are eternally stylish
too. A classically styled leather accessory can update a
man’s ensemble and make him look fashionable without
trying too hard. Anandhi Gopinath picks a few that
stand out.
Raw hide
THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011 • OP3
ad.indd 1 06/01/2011 9:35 AM
OP4 • THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011
ASSET MANAGEMENT
FAST FACTS
• Keep accessories interesting; avoid
wearing too many pieces at once.
• Do not wear sets of more than two
pieces at one time; only focus on one
item each time.
• Accessorising is all about offsetting
or enhancing: a busy outfit deserves
something simple while a plain outfit
can be dialled up with a statement
piece.
• Statement pieces are wonderful travel
companions as they help you update
plan outfits and are easy to travel with.
• Buy both classic and trendy pieces
— classic pieces like a handbag and
watch are often investment pieces
while trendy ones can be purchased
from most high-street stores.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Dear Farah, what is the nicest gift
for a woman’s heart?
David Loong
It is fabulous that all people are different.
There is no hard and fast rule. Any items
from the list above will bring huge joy
to the wearer and reflect your sincerity.
Observe her personal style and see how
you can brighten it up!
TIP OF THE WEEK
Always buy the best you can afford!
Farah Khan is open to answering
any questions pertaining to style.
Please direct your questions to
meliumstyle@melium.com and she
will answer them in the coming
weeks in this fortnightly article.
A statement necklace
is a style arsenal
— wear it to steal all
the attention
BEAVALES
Dramatic accents
A
ccessories do wonders! No mat-
ter how they are used, sparing-
ly to offset a busy outfit or with
great precision to make a simple
outfit more pronounced, they
are great tools of style that must never be
overlooked. Accessories can be fun and
more whimsical than their garment coun-
terparts. It is all about breaking the rules
and letting creativity go full throttle. You
can use accessories to make your own
fashion statement. To get you started, I
will share with you my absolute favourite
pieces that will definitely enhance your
style no matter how you dress.
Farah Khan looks at the key accessories that will enhance your personal style
the look. Keep hoops slim when going big
and hoops thicker when going small.
Oversized belt
An oversized belt creates the illusion
of a perfect waist. Get one in black and
wear it over different outfits for a modern
touch.
Pearl necklace
Wear with more whim and wit to offset the
snotty socialite look. Over a simple T-shirt
or with rugged booties gives wonderful
contrast. A pearl necklace is all about the
right nonchalant attitude, so it doesn’t mat-
ter whether you got yours from a vintage
store or a reputable one.
Printed/patterned scarf
Pucci, Chanel or Hermes are for the undis-
puted scarf connoisseur. Printed scarves
light up even the plainest outfit; they are
an easy way to update an outfit without
an overhaul.
Red-carpet jewellery
Emit total glamour at black-tie events and
wear designer necklaces and ornate jew-
ellery with your evening dress. This can
set your total look apart. Look at quality
magazines to learn how the right styling
can work for you.
Sunglasses
Whether aviator or wayfarers, sunglasses
give a mysterious exterior because eve-
ryone is guessing where your eyes are
looking. These days, sunglasses as an
accessory are very popular even in the
evening.
Statement necklace
The statement necklace charged with
drama and theatricality is the perfect party
or dressing-up accessory that always steals
the spotlight. It is very glamorous!
1. Big bracelets/cuffs
2. Cocktail ring
3. Chandelier earrings
4. Designer bag
5. Hats and hair accessories
6. Hoop earrings
7. Oversized belt
8. Pearl necklace
9. Printed/patterned scarf
10. Red carpet jewellery
11. Sunglasses
12. Statement necklace
13. Something studded, something metallic
14. Watch
15. Wrap bracelets
Big bracelets/cuffs
Remember you are
your cuffs’ most fre-
quent admirer. Get
something that you
enjoy and matches your
personality. They are
easy to wear and a sim-
ple way to instantly
glam up a day outfit.
Chandelier earrings
One of my favouite looks is to wear your
hair tied up or in a nice twist and fin-
ish with a pair of chandelier earrings.
Your features immediately stand out more
prominently.
Cocktail ring
The ultimate party accessory that grabs
everyone’s attention is the big cocktail ring.
Usually oversized and highly decorative,
they often become conversation pieces.
Designer bag
The first investment you ever make is your
handbag because it is the single most-
used item in your closet. Get a classic
shape with enough room for magazines
and an iPad.
Hats and hair accessories
Great style starts on top and with the likes
of Kokin, Eugenia Kim and Philip Tracey,
women today are revisiting their love of
hats and hair accessories when they dress
for the occasion. The trend right now
certainly has a huge focus on hats and
hair accessories.
Hoop earrings
There is no look more urban than the girl
in gold or silver hoop earrings. The size of
the hoop depends on preference, although
the bigger the hoop, the younger and sexier
A printed scarf lights up an
otherwise predictable outfit
E
M
IL
IO
P
U
C
C
I
Style maven
Mary Kate
Olsen works
a black
ensemble
immaculately
and adds to
the mystery
with her
signature
oversized
sunglasses
G
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T
T
Y
I
M
A
G
E
S
Get cuffs you enjoy
as you are their most
frequent admirer
K
A
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A
R
O
S
S
E
Something studded,
something metallic
Having something studded or metallic
always adds grunge-energy to outfits. A
studded belt over a denim outfit imme-
diately creates that element of risk and
danger.
Watch
Set yourself up in style with a watch from
a fabulous brand. Buy the best you can af-
ford. It is worn so much that the price per
wear justifies your investment dollar.
Wrap bracelets
Treat yourself to a stack of them. Gather
favourite bracelets from various shops
(preferably some of leather) and wear them
together for a unique look. I have recently
developed a habit of buying a country’s
specialty bracelets, whether in a special
weave or textile, as gifts and souvenirs
for family and friends. Their size makes
it very easy for the receiver to adapt them
to her personal style. A huge collection of
these to mix and match daily helps take
the boredom out of routine dressing.
Final note
As these are my personal favourites, they
only act as a guideline. They are not ex-
haustive — you can have five or 50! Try
out its unmentioned cousin too. After the
printed/patterned scarf, why not try a
solid-coloured one? Shop everywhere for
your accessories because they are often
lurking where you least expect. Happy
accessorising!
Farah Khan is president of Malaysian luxu ry
retailer The Melium Group
THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011 • OP5
YourWeekOut
WATCH Season of the Witch (opens on
Jan 13), an action film by director Domi-
nic Sena about a 14th-century Crusader
who returns with his comrade to a home-
land devastated by the Black Plague. A
church blames a witch for the plague
and commands the knights to transport
her to a remote abbey, but the journey
is far from smooth. Stars Ron Perlman,
Christopher Lee and Nicolas Cage.
CATCH Model Citizens by The Neces-
sary Stage, first staged in March 2010
to critical acclaim. The play revolves
around a wife of a Member of Parlia-
ment, an Indonesian maid and the maid’s
employer, who all need each other to
survive. Directed by Alvin Tan and writ-
ten by Haresh Sharma, it stars Goh Guat
Kian, Siti Khalijah and Karen Tan. Jan
11 to 15, 8pm (additional 3pm on Satur-
day), National Museum Gallery Theatre.
Tickets at $30 from Sistic*.
CHECK out Introducing Sachiyo: My
Life, My Songs — A Debut Concert in
Singapore. The Japanese acoustic singer-
songwriter, born in Tokyo and raised in
Singapore, performs songs with lyrics
in multiple languages and boasting a
range of styles from jazz and Bossa Nova
to pop and ethnic. Jan 13, 7.30pm, Es-
planade Recital Studio. Tickets at $40
from Sistic*.
SEE What Did You Learn Today? a
world premiere at the M1 Singapore
Fringe Festival 2011. Written by Sean
Tobin and Natalie Hennedige and di-
rected by Tobin, this performance fea-
tures veteran actors and husband and
wife, Lim Kay Siu and Neo Swee Lin,
who explore the part education plays
in our everyday lives. Jan 13 to 15,
8pm (additional 3pm on Saturday),
The Arts House Play Den. Tickets at
$30 from Sistic*.
JOIN the Singapore Symphony Orches-
tra for its 32nd Anniversary Concert.
Conductor Lan Shui leads the orches-
tra in Brahms’ Symphony No 2, while
pianist Fou Ts’ong tackles Mozart’s
Piano Concerto No 27 and violinists
Chan Yoong-Han and Foo Say Ming
team up for Martinu’s Concerto for 2
Violins. Jan 14, 7.30pm, Esplanade
Concert Hall. Tickets at $12 to $78.75
from Sistic*.

ATTEND the Zee Cine Awards 2011, the
world’s biggest viewers’ choice awards
that celebrate Indian cinema across the
world. The extravaganza is hosted by
Akshay Kumar and Sajid Khan and will
feature performances by Shahrukh Khan,
Priyanka Chopra and Arjun Rampal. Jan
14, 7.30pm, Marina Bay Sands Grand
Ballroom. Tickets at $197 to $597 from
Sistic*.

DON’T miss Notes from the Balcony
— The Music of Romeo and Juliet. The
tragic tale of the star-crossed lovers has
inspired composers over the years, in-
cluding Rota, Prokofiev, Kabalevsky,
Bernstein and Elvis Costello, which will
be performed by two ensembles — T’ang
Quartet and Boston Brass — in a unique
collaboration. Jan 15, 7.30pm, Esplanade
Concert Hall. Tickets at $20 to $60 from
Sistic*.
*Sistic hotline: 6348 5555
E
ad.indd 1 06/01/2011 5:20 PM
OP6 • THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011
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THE ASCOTT INTERVIEW
A hectic work schedule keeps Sulian
Tan-Wijaya, senior director for retail and
lifestyle at Savills, busy even after hours. Yet,
she manages to find time and energy for
charity work, to be a devoted mother and to
keep up with other interests. Tan-Wijaya tells
Audrey Simon how she does it.
Keeping it
TOGETHER
W
ith little prompting from the
photographer, Sulian Tan-
Wijaya knows what her best
angles are and how to use
the lighting to full effect so
that her pictures turn out perfectly. Sit-
ting comfortably in an armchair in the
main foyer of Savills’ office on Orchard
Road, Tan-Wijaya is not a novice when
having her pictures taken. She is, after
all, very much in the limelight as senior
director for the company’s retail and life-
style division.
Much of her job involves networking,
and she has attended many high-octane
red-carpet events to meet with clients
and to be introduced to potential ones.
Her publicity outings, along with her im-
peccable fashion sense, have generated
numerous media interviews and her pic-
tures have graced many glossy fashion
magazines.
No wonder, then, that many people
have come to expect Tan-Wijaya to al-
ways be clad in designer outfits. For the
shoot, she wears a baby-blue dress with
an interesting drape down the front and
I ask whether it is a designer label. With
a smile, she tells me she bought the dress
from a small boutique in Far East Plaza.
“When it comes to clothes, I love to ex-
periment,” she says.
After the shoot, Tan-Wijaya suggests
we conduct the interview at a café near
the office for two reasons: She would like
to get away from the phones and, as she
is working on many confidential projects,
she is not prepared to let anything slip.
Savills advises on all matters of commer-
cial, residential and leisure properties. It
also provides investment advice, asset and
property management and a full range of
property-related services.
For example, the company was involved
in the December opening of Topshop’s flag-
ship 15,000 sq ft store at Knightsbridge
on Orchard Road. The proudest person
at the grand opening had to be Tan-Wi-
jaya, who was instrumental in securing
the location for the tenant. She explains
the background of the deal rather mod-
estly: “It just so happened that I knew
both the landlord and the tenant, and Top-
shop was looking for a flagship store and
Knightsbridge had the most strategic and
prime location with a frontage that faces
Orchard Road.”
Tan-Wijaya is a matchmaker of sorts
— not just for retail but also for F&B and
lifestyle. The next project, which she is
not at liberty to discuss in detail, is to
find a suitable space for a luxury spa.
“This could take months as, the bigger
the transaction, the longer it takes to close
the deal,” she says.
Tan-Wijaya joined Savills in October
2008 — at the height of the global finan-
cial crisis — to help set up a brand-new
retail and lifestyle business. She weath-
ered the storm in her usual graceful man-
ner. “It was a tough time for everybody,”
she recalls. “So, if everyone is having a
tough time, you actually don’t feel worse
off than anyone else. But I defi nite ly had
to knock on more doors and see more
people.”
Her former stints in retail have helped,
though. This former banker returned to
Singapore after almost a decade at Stand-
ard Chartered Bank in Indonesia, and
joined Sembcorp’s property arm, where
she stayed for four years. She then moved
on to Wisma Atria as its general manag-
er, after which she worked in the Singa-
pore Tourism Board’s retail tourism shop-
ping division for 3½ years. Sino Land was
her last stop before she finally landed at
Savills. Tan-Wijaya’s years of experience
have earned her an impressive string of
contacts, some of whom have become
her friends.
When she joined Savills, she was the
only staff member in her division, which
has since expanded to six. Since her ap-
pointment, Savills has also been appoint-
ed as the sole marketing agency for two
prime Orchard Road developments: 218
and 277 Orchard Road. At this point in
the interview, her BlackBerry buzzes and,
fishing it out of her Fendi handbag, she
politely seeks my permission to read her
message. Noticing my quizzical look, she
tells me her early-morning appointment
on Saturday has been confirmed: A US
businessman will be in town to look at
some retail sites.
Work for the 45-year-old mother of two
is 24/7. “Even on holidays, I am whipping
out my camera [my BlackBerry is my cam-
era] to take pictures as I try to retain and
absorb new ideas and concepts,” she con-
fides. “Part of my job includes advising
developers on architectural and design as-
pects, such as how to deal with low ceil-
ings, how you can work with odd spaces
or what to do with shops that are blocked
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THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011 • OP7
by escalators. For me, it is amazing what
I can see by observing what other malls
have done.”
Balancing work and life
Apart from work, Tan-Wijaya is also very
involved in charity work. A devout Catho-
lic, she says she believes in giving back
to society. “Every Sunday, the priest re-
minds me that being a Christian is not
just about worshipping but about doing
good for others,” she explains.
So close is charity work to her heart
that she will allow nothing to get in her
way. Early last year, for example, despite
a nasty and painful bruise on her arm and
a bump on her head, she attended a jew-
ellery fund-raising event at Frank & Co
in support of The Assisi Home. Her in-
juries were sustained in an accident that
occurred while she was out walking her
dogs, Leo and Mac. This year, she intends
to do more even more good works, par-
ticularly for her favourite charity Caritas,
a Catholic relief, development and social
service organisation that operates in 200
countries worldwide.
How does she fit it all in: her work,
her charity causes, her passion and her
family? When the topic of conversation
switches to family, Tan-Wijaya seems
more at ease and is ever ready to talk
about her 17-year-old daughter, Silva-
na, and 16-year-old son, Andre. Beam-
ing with pride, she says, “It is always a
joy to talk to them about school, music
and soccer.” Silvana, who plays football
for her school Hwa Chong Institution,
is a Manchester United fan, and Andre,
who plays for his school St Joseph’s In-
ternational, is an Arsenal fan.
Her children also differ in their tastes in
fashion. “My daughter has a natural flair
towards indie fashion; she likes them sim-
ple with clean lines — a bit indie Bohe-
mian, I would say. My son has a preppy
college taste that borders on expensive,”
Tan-Wijaya says with a laugh. “My kids
are wonderful. I am so thankful that they
turned out to be well-rounded. I used to
feel guilty for not spending enough time
with them. I soon realised that raising
children is not only about spending time
but also about being a role model, giving
them advice and guidance. I try not to mi-
cro-manage them too much.”
Music is also a big part of Tan-Wi-
jaya’s life. When time permits,
she guest-DJs at various clubs
and her playlist now includes
some of her son’s eclectic mix
of indie-folk music, which has
added a new and refreshing rep-
ertoire to her DJ gigs.
If you think this is keeping her
busy, there is more. Late last year,
she was appointed brand ambas-
sador for lifestyle company Quintessential-
ly (www.quintessentially.com). As ambas-
sador, Tan-Wijaya will attend events that
involve the company. Yes, more events
have been scheduled in her BlackBerry,
but she has become more selective and
vowed to attend only those that are rele-
vant to her work or in support of causes
she believes in.
“I am still trying to get my work-life bal-
ance right. It is a challenge because of the
cross-border nature of my business. I still
need to answer emails on weekends and
meet some of my F&B clients, who are too
busy to meet during the week. There are
at least three to four events to attend per
week, most of which are related to retail,
F&B and lifestyle. That’s where I catch up
with my business associates and there’s al-
ways much to discuss” she says. The one
thing she plans to do this year is to take
a much-needed vacation and her choice
(in order of preference) is between Bali,
Italy and Spain.
Looking back, looking ahead
Tan-Wijaya and her younger sister, Tan
Su Shan, 43, managing director and head
of private banking at DBS Bank, grew up
in the Thomson area, where their now-
retired mother worked as a pharmacist.
Their father, who passed away last year,
was in the civil service. While there was
no sibling rivalry, she recalls fighting so
fiercely over the last biscuit or chocolate
that their mother had to give the sisters
their own Tupperware containers with their
names written on them, so they could safe-
ly keep their stash of snacks. Despite their
food fights, they are close and, when they
meet, they talk about everything
under the sun, including banking
issues. It is obvious that Tan-Wi-
jaya was also close to her father.
Her eyes well up with tears as
she relates how, as a young child
and a tomboy, she would eager-
ly wait for him to return home
from work so they could have a
game of badminton.
Tan-Wijaya went to primary school at
St Nicholas Convent, where she honed
her Mandarin skills, and then to Convent
of The Holy Infant Jesus for her second-
ary education. She attended Hwa Chong
Junior college and then read law at the
National University of Singapore but nev-
er practised.
She says: “I always saw myself as a
numbers person, and I knew deep down
inside I wanted to be a banker, which I did
for nine years after graduation.” She still
receives lucrative offers to return to the
banking world, but she says being away
from the industry has made her less con-
fident and she would hesitate to venture
into that arena again.
Tan-Wijaya is excited about trying her
hand at fashion. She intends to start her
own label and be involved in the design
and fabric choices. Profits earned from
her fashion line will be channelled into
charity. Those plans have been placed
on the backburner for now, however, as
she continues to grow the retail business
at Savills. She indicates that several new
and exciting international brands will be
coming into the local market this year.
“We hope to find them their first stores in
Singa pore very soon,” she says.
E
Tan-Wijaya spins for charities such as Saving Gaia and Club Rainbow and for events by the Singapore Tyler Print Institute
S
U
L
IA
N
T
A
N
-
W
IJ
A
Y
A
Raising children is not only
about spending time but also
about being a role model, giving
them advice and guidance
— Tan-Wijaya
ad.indd 1 06/01/2011 5:20 PM
OP8 • THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011
velopment, he rediscovered his passion
for elegant, reliable and authentic objects.
Thereafter, he oversaw the construction of
the new manufactory at Plan-les-Ouates,
the complete overhaul of the historic seat
of Vacheron Constantin at l’Ile in Gene-
va, and was made responsible for the
distribution, marketing and communi-
cation of the brand. In 2005, there were
several milestones: the company’s 250th
anniversary; the unveiling of one of the
world’s most complicated wristwatches,
the Tour de l’Ile; and Torres’ ascension to
pole position.
Looking back, would he have done any-
thing differently? “It is easy to say ‘yes’,”
he quips. “But I never have regrets. For
sure, I have lost time, made mistakes or
took a long time to do things but, in the
end, maybe it was part of what was nec-
essary to do. Who knows? Life is a huge
circle; you will never know at what point
of the circle you are at.”
Aaron De Silva is a freelance writer spe-
cialising in horology, architecture and in-
terior design
tomorrow’s classics. “The
legacy of Vacheron is easy
to follow, but it is impor-
tant to find a new legacy
for the future. The Quai
de l’Ile, the Malte collec-
tion — watches like these
will be classics in 30 to 40
years’ time.”
Torres downplays his
input in the creative pro-
cess, saying that he mere-
ly “gives the designers am-
bition and shows them
where to go”. Much of
the time, he advocates free
rein. “I encourage them to
think outside the box, vis-
it exhibitions, go to Tokyo
and Paris to see modern
art, traditional art. Any kind of culture is
good. We cannot keep recreating things
from the last 200 years. We have to find
new shapes, designs and proportions. For
example, the Quai de l’Ile was a totally
new design for the brand. The designer
who developed this case was impressed
by the design of the Lamborghini Gallar-
do, so he recreated some parts of the car
on the watch. That is inspiration coming
from other sectors, not only from watch-
making.”
Torres’ spirited demeanour and enga-
ging candour puts those around him at
ease. Born in Barcelona and schooled
in Geneva, he inherited
a taste for beautiful ob-
jects and a deep respect
for artisanal workman-
ship from his Catalonian
cabinetmaker father. At
19, he entered the profes-
sional world, joining Camy
Watch as an accountant
and discovering a universe
of traditional watchmak-
ing. In 1981, an opening
in Vacheron Constantin
led Torres to pursue new
opportunities, and by 1988
he had risen to the post of
director of finance, under
the auspices of the brand’s
new owner, former Saudi
oil minister Sheikh Yam-
ani. By then, he had developed a repu-
tation as a good leader and protector of
his men, a trait he considered essential
to the serenity and durability of an arti-
sanal company.
By the early 1990s, Torres’ scope of
duties had extended beyond finance to
include informatics, human resources,
after-sales service and general administra-
tion. In 1996, he piloted the integration of
Vacheron Constantin into the Richemont
Group. “When we entered Richemont, the
family changed, but the spirit remained
the same,” he says. “It is easy to manage
within Richemont. They are strong profes-
sionals in finance, law, human resources,
and the building and construction of bou-
tiques. It is very pleasant to have this safe-
ty around you.”
When the company’s operations were
streamlined in 2000, manufacturing and
watchmaking were amalgamated, and
Torres was made chief operating officer.
Placed directly in charge of product de-
Standing sentinel
FEATURE
E
H
elming one of the world’s oldest
and most esteemed haute horlo-
gerie manufactures might prove a
daunting task to all but the most
resilient of characters. Vacher-
on Constantin’s Juan-Carlos Torres, who
was appointed CEO in 2005, is one such
feisty individual, having spent the last 30
years steering the company through tur-
bulent times as it changed hands twice,
survived the quartz crisis and endured
the Great Recession. “It is a tough job,”
he says. “You cannot rest on your laurels.
You always have to think about the way
forward, and with whom you have to con-
tinue to go forward.”
It is precisely this progressive approach
that has stood the brand in good stead.
In a culture of fleeting fashions, instant
gratification and trendhunters relentless-
ly on the prowl for the next big thing,
redefining the legacy of a 255-year-old
brand while staying up-to-the-minute is
a tough balancing act. “Internet market-
ing tools cannot be avoided. We cannot
pretend that things such as Facebook,
iPhone apps and developments in CRM
[customer relationship management] do
not exist. The challenge for us is not to
use them as fashionable applications but
to serve our loyal customers, to give them
the oppor tunity to join Vacheron through
new channels,” he offers.
In Singapore last month to unveil its
first Southeast Asian monobrand bou-
tique in Marina Bay Sands, Torres spoke
of the brand’s confidence in this part of
the world, and the city’s premier position
as the centre for high watchmaking con-
noisseurs. “Our idea here is to create a
centre for discussions. We will continue
to develop our presence in Asia through
boutiques in Hong Kong and China, but
in Southeast Asia, this will be the flag-
ship,” he explains.
The company’s strategies are long term.
“In 2005, we presented a 10-year plan, so
my next step is in 2016. In between, the
distribution will move, the number of bou-
tiques will increase and production will in-
crease.” Currently, the brand is sold in 80
countries and distributed across 15 mono-
brand boutiques. From a product-oriented
perspective, Torres’ objective is to create
VACHERON CONSTANTIN
Unit B2-238, The Shoppes at Marina Bay
Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue
Tel: 6688 7000
Email: boutique.singapore@vacheron-
constantin.com
The last 30 years of his career were spent developing
a holistic understanding of operations. Now, Vacheron
Constantin’s CEO Juan-Carlos Torres tells Aaron De Silva
that his role is that of guardian of the temple.
The new 1,600 sq ft boutique at
Marina Bay Sands is luxuriously
fitted out to create a warm,
intimate setting for collectors
and enthusiasts
Torres: We cannot keep recreating
things from the last 200 years. We
have to find new shapes, designs
and proportions.
The 2011 edition of the 43mm Quai de l’Ile Retro-
grade Annual Calendar sports an entirely new
movement, Calibre 2460
THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011 • OP9
ad.indd 1 05/01/2011 11:32 PM
OP10 • THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011
more streamlined all-white cab-
in of the 737-800.
The wider space is accentu-
ated by the full-length sculpted
sidewalls and larger windows
that direct passengers towards
the view outside the airplane.
The cabin stows in the 737-800s
have also been designed to pro-
vide more storage.
“What we want to do is elimi-
nate as much as possible any
factors that can give passengers
stress, and one of the factors that
induces stress among passengers
is when the cabin crew has to
store hand luggage far away from
the owner, owing to space con-
straints,” Hazari explains.
Space is also evidently wider
for economy-class passengers,
given the slimmer leather-cov-
ered seats. This provides pas-
sengers more leg room and en-
hances comfort, especially during
long flights.
All seats come with the pas-
sive ergonomic lumbar design
that better supports the back.
Business-class passengers also
enjoy the three-way adjustable
headrest, apart from the seat that
reclines 18cm.
The acoustic treatment in the
plane also makes the cabin signifi-
cantly quieter for a more relaxing
travel experience. All these new
features are directed to a meet-
ing a single focus — to help pas-
sengers connect with the experi-
ence of flying.
Malaysia Airline Systems Bhd
(MAS) is the first full service lin-
er to have the Boeing Sky Interi-
or on its fleet of 737-800s, which
it took delivery of in November.
The national carrier’s 737-
800s also come with the latest
in-flight entertainment system,
known as the Audio Video on
Demand (AVOD) system by Pa-
nasonic XSeries.
Previously only available to
bigger jets, the AVOD system
comes with an individual nine-
inch LCD video monitor (10.6-
inch for business class) with
touch screen at each seat — al-
lowing passengers to watch in-
flight movies and listen to music,
as well as shop for gifts.
The in-flight entertainment
system also supports a USB me-
dia player that allows passen-
gers to listen to their personal
play lists. The system will com-
mence in 2Q2011.
Passengers who need to charge
their laptops and mobile devic-
es will be delighted with the in-
seat power supply, as well as
USB port.
For those conscious of conserv-
ing the environment, the 737-800s
consumes less fuel and creates
fewer emissions, despite having
more seats than Boeing’s previous
737 models. This is partially due
to the blended winglets attached
to the wings of the plane that en-
hance range and field perform-
ance while saving fuel.
MAS’s 737-800s fly thrice
weekly non-stop to Haneda Air-
port, Tokyo’s city airport, from
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Yong Yen Nie is a writer with
the Corporate & Capital Markets
desk at The Edge Malaysia
TRAVEL
F
lying can be a stressful
experience. Most would
agree that the stress of
flying begins even before
you step into an airplane.
To catch a flight at noon, you have
to get to the airport at least two
hours before. Most airports are
located on the outskirts of a city.
Thus, a passenger would have to
allocate at least an hour, depend-
ing on distance and the infamous
morning traffic jams in most cit-
ies in the world.
Imagine you are that passen-
ger in a cab stuck in a traffic jam,
looking at your watch anxious-
ly as the cab inches slowly to-
wards the airport. At the airport,
another long line awaits you at
the check-in counter. While in
line, you also have to mentally
and physically prepare yourself
to undergo a body search at the
customs checkpoint and perhaps
even run from one end of the ter-
minal to another.
By the time you board the
plane, you are already fatigued
and stressed out. No wonder so
few people enjoy flying.
As a leading commercial air-
plane manufacturer, The Boeing
Co sees the need to create a de-
lightful experience for passengers
on board its aircraft.
Boeing, the brand behind the
737-, 747- and 787-series of com-
mercial airplanes, did a study on
how to enhance the passenger
flying experience.
“Most passengers we surveyed
say their ultimate dream is to be
able to fly. And we want to create,
as closely as possible, that expe-
rience for them,” says T Hazari,
Boeing Commercial Airplanes re-
gional director of passenger sat-
isfaction and revenue, when we
meet at the Boeing Customer Ex-
perience Centre in Seattle, Wash-
ington recently.
The result of that research is
an innovation known as the Boe-
ing Sky Interior — a spacious in-
terior designed to evoke the feel-
The new cabin architecture and blue-sky overhead lighting is now
available on the new 737-800 commercial airplanes
ing of being close to the sky. This
effect is achieved by installing
overhead LED lights with a soft
blue-sky-like appearance.
The lighting feature can gen-
tly simulate a full flying day for
longer flights. Throughout the
flight, the soft overhead lighting
may gradually change from day to
night, and vice versa. Inspired by
the 787 Dreamliner interior, the
new cabin architecture and light-
ing is now available on new 737-
800 commercial airplanes.
Never before felt in a single-
aisle jetliner, passengers will have
a wider sense of space in the
Dream flight
Boeing’s new interior design concept aims to put
you at ease in the skies, reports Yong Yen Nie
E
ad.indd 2 06/01/2011 5:20 PM
THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011 • OP11
Making life easier for the busy gourmand
Four Seasons Gourmet Market at Marina Bay Link Mall is
the first and only gourmet market located in the CBD. Be-
sides groceries, it also has a Spanish Tapas Bar and Deli.
Other personalised services to enhance your shopping ex-
perience include a butler service, where you can leave a
shopping list with a staff, and collect your shopping af-
ter work or have it brought right to the taxi stand or your
car. You will also be assisted in sourcing for products not
found on its shelves, at no additional cost. And if you’re
having a dinner party after work, enjoy the complimen-
tary deboning service or have your meat marinated. Staff
will also cut the meats according to your preferences and
even have the meat skewered for home barbecues.
Four Seasons Gourmet Market is located at 8A Marina
Boulevard, B2-49, Marina Bay Link Mall. Op-
erating hours are from 8am to 10pm daily for
breakfast and tapas. Tel: 6634 4619.
Pairing wine and spicy food
Choosing a wine for local dishes such as White
Pepper Crab, Black Pepper Crab and Chili Crab
can be daunting. But fear not, as there is now
the Château Saint-Anac 2009, a white Bor-
deaux that is a blend of Semillon and Mus-
cadelle grape varietals. Saint-Anac balances
the flavours and textures of the three dishes,
while managing to hold its own. Exclusively
available at the Singapore Seafood Republic for
$62. For more information, go to www.beam-
global.com and www.drinksmart.com.
Greet the Lunar New Year with Peranakan
yu sheng
For a slightly different yu sheng this year, try
the Concorde Hotel Singapore’s Salmon and
Ikan Parang Yu Sheng served with Plum or Spicy Per-
anakan Sauce. Available at Spices Café, it offers a unique
twist to the traditional favourite with ingredients such as
jellyfish, along with a fragrant dressing made from plum
sauce, sambal belacan, lime juice, chopped lime leaves,
rojak flower and coriander leaves. Available from Jan 24
Jan to Feb 17 from noon to 10.30pm at $15++
(small), $25++ (medium) or $35++ (large),
and available for take-away at $28++ (small),
$48++ (medium) and $68++ (large). For
reservations, call 6739 8370 or 6733 8855 ext
8133, email spices.chs@concorde.net or visit
singapore.concordehotelsresorts.com.
Drink to your health
Glacéau Vitaminwater has a drink for every
occasion, mood and need as there are six vari-
eties to choose from. When you wake up feel-
ing tired or with a hangover, Glacéau Vitamin-
water Restore is powerpacked with vitamin
C and potassium, other than vitamins B3, B6
and B12, which are said to be responsible for
helping you shake off the tiredness quickly.
Glacéau Vitaminwater Multi-V is rich in vi-
tamins A, B3, B6, B12, C and E, magnesium
and zinc to empower you to overcome the
pressure of multi-tasking. When fatigue sets
in, zest up with citrusy vitamin B and Guarana extract-
rich Glacéau Vitaminwater Ignite. Glacéau Vitamin-
water Essential, which is rich in vitamin C and magne-
sium, boosts your day. Glacéau Vitaminwater Power-C
helps you to go the extra mile at work with its high vita-
min C and taurine content. And when you’re feeling to-
tally drained and exhausted by mid-day, re-energise with
antioxidant-rich Glacéau Vitaminwater XXX. Packed
with vitamin C from Acai, blueberry and pomegranate,
it makes a great mid-day pick-me-up. Available at lead-
ing supermarkets. — Compiled By Alicia Webb
SIPS & BITES
E
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Generations of diners have been returning
to Moi Lum Restaurant for its legendary
Majestic Roast Chicken and Golden Coin
Beancurd, which have been among its
bestsellers for the past 80 years.
Those who prefer set menus for family
gatherings can choose from all-time
favourites like Crab Meat Fish Maw Soup, Braised Roast Pork with Yam, Crispy Oats
Meal Prawns, Sweet and Sour Grouper and Wasabi Prawns with Scallop Rolls Platter.
Moi Lum also offers during weekdays lunch Value Set Menu such as Roast Chicken
Noodles, Sweet and Sour Pork Rice, Lemon Chicken Rice and King Prawns Noodle
Soup which comes with either a Cantonese Styled double boil soup or drinks.
Founded in the 1920s, Moi Lum is truly a traditional Cantonese restaurant that offers
good food and caters to everyone, from families to businessmen.
Moi Lum Restaurant Pte Ltd
38 Maxwell Road,
Airview Building
#01-01/02
Singapore 06911
Operating Hours:
11:30am-3.00pm
5:30pm-10:00pm
For reservations please call: 6226 2283
Website: www.moilum.com
OP12 • THEEDGE SINGAPORE | JANUARY 10, 2011
P
remium beers and lagers are most
commonly from Germany or Bel-
gium — over the years, brewer-
ies in both countries have built
up quite a reputation for creating
beverages coveted the world over for their
superior taste. Indeed, local beer drinkers
swear by their German and Belgian lagers.
Spend one boozy afternoon with any of
them and you’ll find a strange allegiance
to premium beers from these European
nations. So, the idea of a French premium
beer does take them by surprise.
France’s beer industry is obviously
dwarfed by its other more alcoholic breth-
ren but has been in quiet existence, never-
theless. In fact, Belgian influence on brew-
ing techniques and the demanding nature
of the French has resulted in French brew-
eries producing exceedingly good beer.
The Alsace-based, Carlsberg-owned
Kronenbourg is an excellent example. Kro-
nenbourg 1664 is a premium lager beer,
with a stronger version known as Grand
Cru. Also available is a spicy wheat beer
known as Kronenbourg Blanc. All are popu-
lar in France, but the best is undoubtedly
the Kronenbourg 1664, which is now avail-
able in Malaysia and Singapore.
“Kronenbourg in many ways is inspired
by the French people’s pursuit of pleas-
ure,” says Laurent Helbert, international
marketing director for Kronenbourg 1664.
“So, the 1664 is very much the epitome
of that spirit.”
Indeed, Kronenbourg’s history is steeped
in this lovely sense of joie de vivre. Founded
in 1664 by Jérôme Hatt after he received
his Master Brewer’s certificate, the brewery
opened in Strasbourg in Alsace, a region in
eastern France. It was an interesting time
for him to have started his business, as
it was the height of the rule of the flam-
boyant King Louis XIV. The king’s 72-year
reign was marked by great prosperity and
became a period in history that inspired
France’s affinity for pleasure.
Hatt’s descendents continued his prac-
tice of producing quality French beer, with
the company adopting the name Kronen-
bourg after its move to Cronenbourg, an
area in Strasbourg.
In 1952, the company decided to hon-
our its founder by naming its finest and
most exclusive brew Kronenbourg 1664.
The company also had the pleasure — and
the sheer good fortune — of launching the
premium beer in England just when Queen
Elizabeth II ascended to the throne. Today,
the beer has become France’s best-selling
premium beer and the 10th-fastest-grow-
ing beer brand in the world.
Kronenbourg 1664’s big selling point
is its exceptional brewing conditions and
fine ingredients. Pure water from the Vos-
ges Mountains is used for brewing and the
rich Alsace soil bears barley whose grains
produce beautiful malts. The fragrant hop
used is the really special part. Considered
the caviar of hops in France, the strissel-
spalt hop is grown exclusively in Alsace
and used only in Kronenbourg 1664, giv-
ing the beer its delightfully refreshing
citrusy flavour.
Carlsberg has very helpfully provid-
ed us a plateful of the pale green hops to
smell, and it is admittedly quite delight-
ful. Helbert tells me to roll one between
my fingers and smell it, seeking out the
fine yellow powder on the inside of each
tightly wrapped hop. It is actually quite
fragrant — apparently even more so when
fresh. “This hop grows only in France, and
in limited numbers. If Kronenbourg 1664
didn’t use it, it’s likely that it might not
be grown at all,” Helbert says. “It lends
a very specific flavour to the beer, and it
both cuts the bitterness and gives the beer
its lovely colour.”
Once poured, Kronenbourg 1664 seems
to have a reasonably long-lasting and
creamy head, and I can’t help but notice
the lively carbonation as well. It’s a clear,
bright and golden colour, darker than la-
ger but lighter than beer.
I have to say that all it takes is one
taste to appreciate this brew. It is quite
delicious. A crisp, pale lager, it is simi-
lar to many Euro-styled versions but def-
initely a huge notch above the crowd. The
hops give it a grassy twang, which is just
delicately balanced with a dollop of syr-
upy sweetness. Being French, there’s a
doughy graininess throughout, like hav-
ing a mouthful of baguette with the beer.
It finishes with a clean aftertaste, which
straddles the line between bitter and sweet
very nicely.
Kronenbourg 1664 is easy to pair with
both meat and seafood, but the best, Hel-
bert says, is with cheese and ice cream.
“I would only recommend not pairing it
with spicy food, as it might overwhelm the
beer’s already rather delicate taste.”
However, it doesn’t seem to go very
well with my creamy mushroom risotto,
but does pair quite wonderfully with the
slightly tangy taste of my salad dressing.
I can imagine how well this beer would
work with a cheese platter — the sweet-
ish aftertaste of the beer would sit very
well with the saltiness of the cheese. That
said, the beer works magically well with
my ice cream, which helps further en-
hance the pear, apricot and grapefruit fla-
vours in the beer.
It’s a universal fact that beer, when
warm, becomes totally undrinkable. Ah,
not so with Kronenbourg 1664 — all the
afternoon heat does to our beer is render
it sweeter and more flavourful. I can really
taste all its subtle flavours now — the car-
amel and banana base cords, the peppery
touches here and there and of course that
delicately sweet yet citrusy dominance.
“This is very much a unisex beer; we
have noticed that its balance of bitterness
and sweetness appeals to both men and
women,” Helbert observes. “And it has
a very globally accepted taste. In Nordic
countries, they really like the taste, and in
South America as well. We will be mov-
ing into China next year, so we’ll see what
happens there. We are already available
in Hong Kong, and its very popular. We
are moving into the Baltic countries next
year too.”
Kronenbourg 1664 is available by the
bottle in selected establishments locally,
but draught barrels — which generally al-
ways yield a tastier brew — will come once
a strong demand has been forged.
I would definitely recommend nurs-
ing this beer instead of glugging it down,
perhaps during a leisurely afternoon of
people watching. You are meant to take
your time with this beer, so do it like the
French — take plea sure in it.
Anandhi Gopinath is a writer with the
Options desk at The Edge Malaysia
Can the French really make premium beer?
Anandhi Gopinath says yes, as she savours the
pleasure of sipping on the delightful Kronenbourg 1664.
French brew
BEHIND THE BOTTLE
E
Helbert: Kronenbourg in many ways is inspired by
the French people’s pursuit of pleasure, so the 1664
is very much the epitome of that spirit
H
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IS
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E
D
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The Kronenbourg 1664 is a crisp, pale lager that
stands head and shoulders above the crowd